The Jigga (our trusty Landrover 90 that carries our broadcast equipment) is over 11 years old now. She (could be a he, not really sure) has worked for between 6 and 9 hours everyday for well over a year at Djuma, WildEarth in some very trying conditions as you all know. It looks like the oil around the timing chain got very very dirty and clogged up. This got cleaned out the other day by Eric, but we suspect that this put the timing out.
The Jigga has a BWM 2.8i engine and this is a very complex machine. Eric made it clear that he does not want to take the risk of trying to fix this motor and then getting it wrong, so Patrick found Collens in Acornhoek who has some experience with these sorts of engines.
What he discovered is that with the timing out, 12 of the inlet valves and 6 of the exhaust valves have been damaged and will need to be replaced. WE will begin sourcing all the spares in Johannesburg tomorrow morning and then get them down to Collens at Djuma as soon as possible. At this stage WE are not 100% sure how long this will all take, but WE promise to work as hard as possible to get the LIVE game drive up again soon.
WE are hoping to bring a few more exciting cams onto the network this week, including a Bluebird nest in New York State and a few cams from Dakota and Minnesota ... so stay tuned as WE expand the WEnetwork.
On another note WE are trying to build a series of Facebook profiles for some of the animal characters that WE all know well at Djuma as well as all the other cams out there. WE do not want these profiles to be perceived as 'belonging' to WildEarth and really want to see everyone embrace this as a way to stay up to date with what is happening with the animal characters that we know. So if you have a little extra time why not create a profile for an eagle, or another animal, get some of your Facebook friends involved as admins who would be willing to update the animal's status everytime they are seen or something happens in their lives. Don't forget to invite all the other cammers out there that you know and remind them to invite others too. If we all make an effort this could be such a great way to stay 'in touch' with the animals WE love.
(Here is an example of a Facebook profile that is really well managed for a lion in the Phinda game reserve in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.